MELBOURNE, Australia, January 17. IN one of the more star-studded events taking place this weekend, James Magnussen popped a sizzling men’s 100-meter free at the Victorian Open Championships on day one.
The world champion posted a meet record of 47.73, just missing the time it took for him to win the world title (47.71) in Barcelona last summer.
“I’ve been training really well and I didn’t expect to go that fast but I’m really happy with it. I think it just means that I’m getting my race plan right…I didn’t fatigue too early and stayed strong through the third 25, so yeah, I was really happy with it,” Magnussen said.
With the BHP Billiton Aquatic Super Series in Perth just 14 days away, Magnussen will soon get the chance to gauge his international standings when he takes on the best from Brazil, China, Japan and South Africa.
South Korea’s Tae Hwan Park showed some sprint ability with a second-place 49.35, while Kenneth To pushed his way to third in 49.74. Park is still in the midst of knocking off the rust from a post-Olympic sabbatical, while To finished his final exams last semester that cost him some money on the FINA World Cup tour.
Park, however, had already won the men’s 400-meter freestyle earlier in the evening with a 3:47.72, almost two seconds ahead of David McKeon’s second-place 3:49.71. Mack Horton, 17, wound up earning third-place honors in 3:53.01.
Melanie Schlanger clinched the women’s 100 free in the finale with a 54.44 for the win. Brittany Elmslie pocketed second-place honors in 54.55, while Ami Matsuo placed third in 54.95 at 17 years of age. Alicia Coutts, the reigning Pacific Rim Swimmer of the Year, too fourth in 55.28.
Elmslie managed to win the women’s 50-meter fly earlier in the evening with a 26.27, while Coutts touched second in 26.58. Madeline Groves rounded out the podium in 26.62.
Meanwhile, Keryn McMaster charged to a Victorian State Championship record in the women’s 400-meter IM with a 4:41.21 for the win. Ellen Gandy took second in 4:41.41, while 16-year-old Emily Overholt of Canada snared third in 4:45.18.
World Junior Teamer Mitchell Pratt put together a strong 1:56.70 to win the men’s 200-meter fly with Daniel Tranter (1:57.83) and Matthew Briggs (2:00.95) taking second and third behind him
In the breaststroke events, Olympian Leiston Pickett topped the women’s 100-meter breaststroke in 1:08.26, just pipping Georgia Bohl’s 1:08.32 in the finale. Samantha Marshall claimed third with a time of 1:10.17. Meanwhile, Max Ireland topped the men’s 50-meter breast in 28.49. To took silver in 28.90, while Hong Kong’s Chun Yan Wong placed third in 29.11.
In a big-name battle in Australia, Belinda Hocking had a bit too much in the tank compared to Meagen Nay in the women’s 200-meter backstroke, enough to claim a 2:07.99 to 2:08.19 victory in the distance dorsal. Madison Wilson touched well behind with a third-place 2:11.07.
France’s Camille Lacourt provided some international flavor at the top of the podium along with the likes of South Korean Park as Lacourt won the 50 back in 24.97. Mitchell Larkin took second in 25.85, while Joshua Beaver earned third in 25.87.
Jessica Atwood snagged the women’s 800-meter freestyle title in a meet record of 8:28.38 with Remy Fairweather (8:34.06) and Laura Crockart (8:34.97) taking second and third.
Courtesy of Swimming Victoria
Men’s Multi Class 100m Butterfly
In the men’s Multi Class 100m butterfly, Mitchell Kilduff (1:01.87) proved too strong, taking the top spot ahead of Jeremy Tidy (1:02.20) and Andrew Pasterfield (1:02.48)
Women’s Multi Class 100m Butterfly
The women’s Multi Class 100m butterfly saw Sydney University swimmer Sarah Rose (1:34.57) steal the gold when she stopped the clock in 1:34.57. Rachel Staines (1:40.29) was second with India Biesse Fitton (1:22.68) bagging the bronze and rounding out the top three.
Men’s Multi Class 200m Freestyle
IPC World Championship representative Rowan Crothers (2:02.42) won gold in the men’s Multi Class 200m freestyle relegating his Montreal teammate Matthew Haanappel (2:37.17) to second place with Mitchell Kilduff coming in third in 2:14.70.
Women’s Multi Class 200m Freestyle
In the women’s Multi Class 200m freestyle, Melbourne local Monique Beckwith came out on top with a time of 2:20.74. Second place went to Megan Botha in 2:37.58 with India Biesse Fitton (2:41.42) collecting her second medal for the night in third place.
Men’s Multi Class 50m Breaststroke
Paralympian Matthew Levy finished the men’s Multi Class 50m breaststroke on top of the podium with a time of 38.26. The silver medal was awarded to Ahmed Kelly in 53.06 with Matthew Haanappel taking a third place on the podium in 44.31.
Women’s Multi Class 50m Breaststroke
With the home crowd behind her, Tanya Huebner (46.39) took gold in the women’s Multi Class 50m breaststroke ahead of Emily Beecroft (45.38) and Chelsea McGuigan (45.88).